Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Farewell To A Friend

February 5, 1979 - November 15, 2008

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Our three greys: Deema greets Argus and Ridge on one of Argus' maiden group turnouts. Everyone loved the gentle Deema.

Our beautiful Deema, known to all as the gentle old Arabian who wandered our yard greeting visitors, crossed the rainbow bridge on Sunday, November 15 at 5pm. He lived with his usual gusto right until he became suddenly violently ill around 2pm with what looked like colic, but was later thought to have been some sort of catastrophic cardiovascular event. The vet arrived quickly and helped Deema out of his pain.

Nadeemaah was born February 5, 1979 in Texas. He was a show horse for many years before becoming a lesson horse in a a program for troubled teens. Deema joined our family six years ago. He left us just a few months shy of his 30th birthday.

We were blessed to have this beautiful creature cross our path and will miss his sweet personality and gentle whinny. He was a dear horse who could be trusted with the smallest child. Many children took their first ride on Deema, who always walked so carefully.

Deema's "wife" Ginger, our Shetland pony, has been grieving deeply. Please keep her in your thoughts as she struggles to adjust to life without her constant companion. All of the horses at Watermark Farm had a special affection for Deema, who always offered to groom them over the fence. He was the kind old grandfather horse who made everyone happy.

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Deema counsels Argus about life, friends, pasture and holding still for the farrier. A little white teddy bear in winter, Deema invited hugs and affection from humans and horses alike.

Mourning, too, is our daughter, 10-year-old Shelby. Deema was her first horse and first love. She groomed him daily and always made sure his every need was met. She sat with his body for two long hours after he died, crying softly into his mane. Later, she told me she'd seen a shooting star in the northern sky. "That's a message from Deema," I said, telling her that when my first horse died I, too, saw a shooting star. "It means he's okay."

When Shelby's first pony died on a cold January evening seven years ago, I gazed at the flat winter sky, trying to understand such an unfair loss. A beautiful shooting star streaked across the heavens.

I thought about this as I stood with Deema's body late on the night of his death. I thanked this gentle soul for all he'd given my family. A tear rolled down my cheek as I said a silent prayer. Then I had the strongest urge to look up.

Across the inky dark sky, a brilliant white shooting star flew on by.

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Just one day out of prison, Argus takes his shaky first walk outside the barn. Deema followed along quietly, and seemed to tell him "It's OK! It's OK!"


Holly said...

oh dear. This was another tear jerker.

I .hate. it when I lose old friends. I am dreading the day my heart dog, takes that walk.

LuvMyTBs said...

Oooohhh Katie,I'm very sorry for your loss.The last journey is always the most heartwrenching as well as the most kind gift you can bestow upon a beloved old friend.

I struggle at the start of each winter here in Pa.as I carefully watch and try to safely manage our 2 beloved oldsters (age 26 and 22).
They are still so prized and beautiful to me and have shared their entire lives with me.I will not fail them when their times come.Hugs for you and your daughter.

Skye Felton said...

I'm so sorry about Deema. He sounds like a pretty special guy. I'll keep you all in my heart.

Anonymous said...

Deema was such a sweetheart. You will all miss him so much. I hope Ginger's grief will lessen. You will all have to give her much love.

Thank you for sharing, Katie.


Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, and the loss of your human and animal family. I'm certain he will not be forgotten.

That was an absolutely beautiful homage to him, and I'm sure he appreciates that.

My deepest condolences to you all.

Anonymous said...

Deema is in my thoughts, you have done a beautiful job taking care of all of your horses.

Sasha said...


SOSHorses said...


Please tell Shelby that my heart goes out to her all the way from Kentucky. She is a very lucky girl to have had the love of such a wonderful creature; and Deema was sure a lucky boy to have a little girl to love him so much.

SOS Horses
SOS Leatherworks

Raven said...

My thoughts are with you. There is nothing like loosing a dear animal friend.


Lene said...

I'm so sorry to hear that. Losing a horse, a friend, is so very hard. I still cry when I think of my first horse that I had for but a year when she left me, I cried by her side for hours.

Anonymous said...

Oh Katie I am so sorry about the loss of Deema.
My thoughts are with Shelby, Ginger and you. ((HUGS))

Cheryl said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I haven't had to deal with that yet as our horses are still young. I don't know how I would cope.

GoLightly said...

So sorry for your loss.
Thank the good spirits it was relatively quick.
Thank you for giving him such a great long happy life.
To you and your family.
All the very best.

Morganrrific said...

I have been grieving the loss of a dear old soul this month too. My Dusty left us after a violent colic -- when the drugs didn't work my parents let him go. He was 25 and had a hard life, I am glad we could give him the last 14 years in a happy, loving place and give him a final kindness. He and Deema are surely playing together now.

pchoofinit said...

Aw, seems like you and your family have had to say goodbye, much too much lately. It must hurt so much more, when it is your daughter's horse.
Hope all is getting better there at Watermark Farm, that you have the pigeon fever licked.
So sorry about your loss.

Sydney said...

Aww, so sorry about your loss. It's a terribly empty feeling to have to put a horse down.

I just thought I would mention, because I haven't seen it mentioned. The mark on Arguses shoulder is called a "bloodmark" or "bloody shoulder"

cdncowgirl said...

My deepest sympathy to you and your family

Stephanie said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. You have had a rough year losing the companions you have.

I to saw a shooting star when one of my own companions passed, a 30+ something year old Belgian gelding who had become the horse we all just "popped up on" in the pasture.

This brought tears to read that someone else has seen shooting stars after the passing of their horse. Give your little girl a big hug and tell her that Deema will be up in the stars with all the other great companions.

Sport's Mom said...

This made me so sad. My baby is 36 (he was 34 when I got him)and whenever I hear of an older horse passing away it makes me so thankful for him. He may be just a crippled old pasture puff but I don't care. He is also my first horse so we have that special bond as well. I will be praying for you, your daughter, and all the rest of your family throughout this horrible time.
Victoria, Ben, Sport, and Grace